Marcus Rashford: Man Utd striker has ‘big motivation’ says Erik ten Hag

Marcus Rashford: Man Utd striker has ‘big motivation’ says Erik ten Hag

5 April 2024 0 By Total Football News
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag with striker Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford (far left) has scored eight goals this season in all competitions for Manchester United

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has defended Marcus Rashford, saying the striker is highly motivated to help the club during the season run-in.

United led 3-2 before conceding two late stoppage-time goals.

Rashford came on just before United took the lead, but a perceived lack of pressing was highlighted on social media in the wake of the defeat.

It came just hours after Rashford’s step-brother and agent Dwaine Maynard responded to former United skippers Gary Neville and Roy Keane over comments made about the England forward on the ‘Stick to Football’ Podcast.

Neville said Rashford, who has scored eight goals in 37 games this season, “wasn’t right”, whilst Keane suggested he needed a kick up the backside.

It feeds into a narrative the Rashford camp feels has led to the player being singled out for criticism with little protection from the negativity.

Maynard said in a social media post that if the pair had “genuine concerns” they should “pick up the phone”.

Ten Hag has not offered any fitness reasons for Rashford’s form compared to last season, when he scored 30 times, and says he is a player who can “change the momentum”.

Rashford has faced questions about his work-rate on the pitch and criticism about his off-field conduct this season, and in February he said people questioning his commitment to the club need to show “more humanity”.

The Stamford Bridge defeat leaves United sixth, 11 points behind Aston Villa in fourth.

They still have a chance of European qualification and have reached the FA Cup semi-finals.

With the European Championship to come in the summer, Ten Hag feels England international Rashford has plenty of reasons to want to impress.

“Lately his form is progressing,” the Dutchman said, ahead of United welcoming Liverpool on Sunday (15:30 BST). “I think he has a big motivation because he wants to be successful with us.

“He wants to score goals but he wants to win trophies and we still have a chance in the FA Cup. He wants to fight for a Champions League spot and the Euros are coming so I will say his motivation should be high.

“He can change the momentum. Before [the 30 March game at] Brentford he scored three goals in three games.”

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This article was originally posted on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68739286